How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near North Little Rock AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near North Little Rock AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in North Little Rock AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including North Little Rock AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of North Little Rock AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few North Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local North Little Rock AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in North Little Rock AR.